New chapter today.
Chapter 2 – Demon Continent Dungeon
We didn’t go to the dungeon right away, but took a rest overnight before we got started. The first place we needed to go was the Adventurer’s Guild. We weren’t planning to rush this trip, so if there were any good requests or interesting information, we wanted to know about it.
We also wanted more information about this continent’s dungeons. I wanted to get items from materials and treasure chests by defeating dungeon bosses, on top of leveling up as well. I hadn’t seen anything rare yet, but we’d come to believe it was possible to find a spell book that could give us a hint for getting back to Japan. To be perfectly honest, I also just really wanted a skill book.
“I hope we get some good information,” Lusha said.
“Yeah,” I agreed, as we opened the door into the Adventurer’s Guild. The receptionist there was someone I had long been indebted to, so when she looked my way, I called out to her.
“Welcome back! Did you meet the alchemist?”
“I did. The skilled master alchemist wasn’t there, but his apprentice was able to help me.”
“Oh, that’s good, then!”
The receptionist smiled happily and said, “What I can help you with today?”
Lusha replied energetically, “Can you tell us about all the dungeons on this continent! Oh, and then… how to get to the Demon King’s Castle?” The way she put it made our main objective sound like an afterthought, Jeez. Why don’t you ask about that first?
The receptionist laughed and took out a map.
The demon castle was on the west side of Apricot, and it looked like we could stop by a dungeon along the way for a treasure chest. As we’d hoped, it wasn’t in the opposite direction of our destination, and it wasn’t even that far away. We could still take the shortest route to deliver the package.
“If you’re going to the city where the demon castle is located, you can go by carriage. You can ride those to any big city, so just ask them if you want to go there.”
“By the way, how long does it take to get there from here?”
“The major roads leading to the big city are well maintained, so it’s about three months if you go by horse-drawn carriage. Horseback is a little faster.”
It was going to take longer than I thought, but I had no choice. Ideally, I wanted to ride a horse, but unfortunately I didn’t have any horseback riding experience, so it’s not like I could just learn that all of a sudden. The best idea seemed to be going to the next city by horse-drawn carriage.
Let’s practice horseback riding for next time.
“Lusha, how about we just go ahead and get to the next city, and delve into a nearby dungeon once we’re there?”
“Sure, I’m all for it!”
Thus, our journey resumed straightforwardly.
◆ ◆ ◆
We got a carriage and were on our way to the next city; at the moment, we could see it just a short distance ahead. There was a dungeon in front of the city known as Earth Dungeon, said to have a lot of small animal-type monsters. It sounded like it had rabbits, moles, and stuff like that.
“A new dungeon! Oooh, my chest is pounding now!”
“Yeah, it’s for beginners, and apparently it only has five floors, so maybe we can clear it right away.”
Lusha chuckled and said, “You’re full of confidence, huh?”
Well, it’s because Lusha is also with me. Since she can defeat monsters easily, we can do a real dungeon capture. If I was alone, it was practically cheating to get past the boss and loot the treasure chest without defeating any of the monsters. It wasn’t a particularly bad tactic, but I wouldn’t level up that way.
As we walked down the narrow meadow path off the highway, I saw tents ahead.
“Oh, looks like the dungeon entrance is over there.”
“There sure are a lot of people.”
In front of the dungeon were a lot of merchants selling items, and adventurers of around beginner to intermediate level. Everyone must have been coming to this dungeon. There were only five floors, so we figured it was quite crowded.
As much as we didn’t like it, Lusha and I still headed to the dungeon entrance. It looked like a mole burrow, inside which was the dungeon proper.
“Well, then, shall we get going? [Shield].”
“Of course, thanks.”
Despite getting in with enthusiasm, and my Shield skill, we couldn’t immediately hunt since there were a lot of people on the first floor. Well, it wasn’t a problem since we expected that.
We moved on to the second floor quickly, and there were a lot of people there as well, so we went to the third floor.
“…Alright, there aren’t quite as many people here.”
The dungeon’s passages were like tunnels burrowed through the earth. I couldn’t see anyone around, but I could hear their voices in the distance, so I knew that someone, somewhere, was fighting monsters. Just when I thought we needed to keep going, something attacked me (and missed).
“Oh, a Killer Mole… huh?”
“It’s a Demon Killer Mole.”
Another demon-variant of monster, huh? I only just noticed it, but unlike the Human continent, there were a lot of monsters here with Demon in their names. Demon slime, demon goblin, etc. It’s only a little stronger than an ordinary individual, and it’s not exactly a threat or something. We can still beat them.
It missed again. I’ve raised my evasion stat quite a bit, so I won’t get hit if only a few of them attack.
“For now, it’s not efficient to beat them one by one. Let’s go a little further.”
“Eh, we won’t kill them right away?”
“There seem to be other adventurers around, so let’s kill these things when we get closer to them.”
Lusha has low accuracy, but if there are a lot of monsters, it’ll be easier for her to hit them. I think it’s a pretty efficient way to hunt, but this doesn’t seem to be a common tactic in this world.
“Okay, then ― you can avoid these things no matter how many of them come. Let’s go.”
Since I got her approval, we moved on.
Because it’s a dungeon with a lot of people, the monsters didn’t have much in the way of numbers. The demon killer moles piled up behind me at the rate of about one monster every seven minutes. There were only five demon killer moles attacking me right now, missing every strike.
“Ah, I think it’s about time, Lusha.”
“I can hear people’s voices, but… doesn’t it seem like something’s not right?”
I could hear voices from another party, so I thought I’d get Lusha to beat the monsters now, but based on their tone, they seemed to be in trouble. I could hear one voice practically screaming, so maybe they were struggling with these monsters. Lusha and I looked at each other and ran to the voices.
When I saw the party, there were about ten demon killer moles there. Was it a Monster House?
I looked at the current situation and applied support skills to the vanguard first. There were four people fighting: an injured woman holding a shield and acting as a vanguard, a man who looked like a Magician, a man who looked like an Archer and a woman in robes lying on the ground.
“I’m a Healer, I’ll support you!”
“Thank you very much…”
If the vanguard collapses, it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the party was wiped out. She also used her shield skills to attack the demon killer moles. She seemed like a balanced type that could attack as well as defend.
Then, after helping the other members, I went over to the girl in robes that had collapsed on the ground. I’d already used Heal on her, but I was worried since she was still lying down. However, my concern was unfounded, and she slowly woke up. I was relieved to see her awake, but when she saw me, she opened her eyes in fear.
“No, no, no! Don’t come over here!”
“Eh…!?” I stopped short. Maybe she hates men? Even though I healed and tried to help her, it’s truly depressing that I’d be refused so intensely. That was my first thought, anyway, but I had it all wrong.
“Nooo, the demon killer moles!!”
Several missed attacks reminded me. “Oh, I’m the one who’s bringing them… I completely forgot about that.”
Lusha was too astonished to do anything but say my name. “Hiroki…”
The girl might have been taken down by demon killer moles, so if you brought more to her, wasn’t it obvious she would scream like that? I couldn’t say anything back, so I just stood there and smiled awkwardly.